JUST DID IT YOUNG

ACHIEV­ERS IN YOUR CITY

India Today - - SIMPLY GUJARATI - Con­tact: la­j­ja_­gauswami@ya­hoo.com

Since she was a child, La­jja Gauswami had al­ways been fas­ci­nated by her po­lice sub in­spec­tor fa­ther’s re­volver and itched to get her hands on it. In fact, her de­ci­sion to take up shoot­ing as a ca­reer was in­flu­enced by the lure of han­dling a weapon.

DREAM CHASER Vasad- born Gauswami who spe­cialises in 50m ri­fle shoot­ing has tasted in­ter­na­tional suc­cess by win­ning gold medals in sev­eral cham­pi­onships in Kuwait, Ger­many, Dhaka, Czech Repub­lic and Pak­istan—where she also cre­ated a South Asian record in her cat­e­gory. In In­dia, she has won gold medals in ev­ery event and has even cre­ated a national record in 2009 (Kerela). From 2005 to 2009, she topped all shoot­ing cham­pi­onships within Gu­jarat and was hon­oured

sec­ond opinion “She never gets tired and puts in a lot of ef­fort dur­ing prac­tice

ses­sions. Her bril­liance is sure to pay off in the Olympics.”

SAN­JEEV RA­JPUT, OLYMPIAN SHOOTER AND AR­JUNA AWARDEE

“It’s an irony that with my hum­ble back­ground, I have cho­sen such an ex­pen­sive sport but I just can’t curb the pas­sion”

with the Rak­sha Mantri Padak in 2007.

SUC­CESS STORY She joined the National Cadet Corps (NCC) in 2004 and was a star cadet who took part in most of the con­tests with a bor­rowed ri­fle. When NCC course got over, she of­ten had to bor­row ace shooter and se­nior Ga­gan Narang’s ri­fle for prac­tice. The only per­son in the coun­try to be hold­ing a Mavlankar record in both se­nior and ju­nior wo­man cat­e­gories, Gauswami says, “The mind is the real win­ner,” she says. “You can use any­one’s ri­fle, ad­just to it even in a day and win a com­pe­ti­tion.”

WHAT’S NEXT She is aim­ing at the Olympics af­ter her Asian cham­pi­onship in Jan­uary 2012.

Shooter La­jja

Gauswami

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